Saturday, February 5, 2011
Was Beer the Catalyst for the Invention of Writing?
Could it be true? Could beer be the catalyst for the invention of the first written language?
Up late the other night, I stumbled across The Discovery Channel's documentary on beer, How Beer Saved the World. According to scholars collaborating for this documentary, beer sparked the dawn of the agricultural age. Egyptians even used beer to pay the pyramid builders. In fact, scholars suggest ancient society invented the first written language to keep crop records for their grain used in beer production.
Two other points in favor of beer and mentioned in the documentary:
1) Because Louis Pasteur studied the fermentation of beer and why it spoiled, scientists learned about germs, which led to a breakthrough in how medicine was practiced.
2) Ancient beer actually contained the first form of antibiotics, tetracycline, about 2000 years ago before Alexander Fleming got credit for discovering penicillin in 1928.
I was skeptical about the premise that beer saved the world, but I watched the entire documentary. Now I am a believer and while I have never been a beer drinker, I just might start. Sorry wine! I still love you!
So the next time you're out with friends at a pub or party, take a moment to appreciate all that beer has given you.
The documentary is running through February 18, 2011 on The Discovery Channel, according to their site.
As always, happy writing and happy reading to all!